After a 25-year shut-out, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma is preparing for their opening night (October 2) of Claude Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Gianluigi Gelmetti is saddled with the baton and will lead the Teatro dell'Opera's orchestra, who hasn't wrapped their bows or lips around the five-act score since the 1983/84 season. The new production, by Pierre Audi, is in co-production with the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, which they premiered in Brussels last year looking like a post-apocalyptic Dan Flavin retrospective.
Monica Bacelli will make mincemeat of the role, singing Mélisande (rotating with Nathalie Manfrino), Canadian baritone Jean-François Lapointe sings Pelléas, French bass-baritone Laurent Naouri sings Arkël, and French baritone Jean-Philippe Lafont splits Golaud with Kurt Rydl, the Austrian singer with the self-appointed sobriquet "Der MEGA BASS". Listen, he can call himself the ~The Viennese Juggernaut~ for all we care...the man has sung with with Sinopoli & Sawallisch in Rome, Giulini in Siena, Muti at Scala, and Celibidache in Munich -- and if that's not full of enough win, the Bass rents out his Vienna residences and leaves half-eaten Tafelspitz sandwiches in the fridge for you.